Chairman of the National Liberal Party (PNL), Florin Citu declared on Friday, in Alba Iulia, that he is worried about the evolution of some economic indicators, the former prime minister adding that any sign from the rating agencies showing that Romania is not moving in the right direction, will mean even higher borrowing costs.
“I am concerned about the evolution of economic indicators that are linked, of course, to inflation, interest rates. We usually see an increase in inflation and interest rates before an economic crisis. And it only depends on the solutions we will take at government level so as not to have an economic crisis. We will find and we have solutions, we just have to sit down and look for them, because if we managed to find solutions when the economy was closed for two months – there is no bigger challenge to get the economy out of such a crisis – we will also find now. You just have to accept that there is a problem and then come up with a solution,” the PNL leader told a news conference.
Asked by journalists if the Ministry of Finance’ s high borrowing costs were discussed within the coalition, Florin Citu replied that he had spoken about these concerns of his both publicly and within the coalition.
“I am confident that we will have a coalition (reunion) in the next period in which the Minister of Finance will explain whether these concerns of mine are shared by them as well. I hope that the evolution of interest rates or the measures we will take will not lead to an even higher increase in interest rates, in inflation. We are waiting for Romania’s evaluation by the rating agencies in March and any sign from the rating agencies showing that Romania is not going in the right direction will mean even higher borrowing costs for Romania. That is why we must be very careful with the measures we take. All of them should go in the direction of maintaining the deficit at least at the level we assumed at the beginning of the year,” he explained.
Florin Citu is chairman of the PNL, party which is currently in government in a rotational system together with the Social Democratic Party (PSD) and the Hungarian Democratic Union of Romania (UDMR). Current Prime Minister Nicolae Ciuca is also an elected senator on PNL’s lists for Dolj County.
If we had stayed in Gov’t in December 2021, I don’t believe deficit would’ve exceeded 5 pct
The leader of the National Liberal Party (PNL), former Prime Minister Florin Citu claimed, on Friday, in Alba Iulia, that if in the last month of the previous year he would’ve stayed in government the budget deficit would not have been larger than 5%.
Asked in a press conference how he comments on the fact that, according to data published on Friday by the European Statistical Office, Romania (7.1% of the GDP) is, together with Malta (8.1%) and Spain (7.3%), among the countries with the highest government deficit at the end of Q3 2021, Florin Citu said that when he left government the deficit was 4%.
“Romania had in the past year, in 2021, the highest increase in the European Union and has reduced the budget deficit from nearly 10% in 2020 towards 7%. Now I tell you that when I left government, the budget deficit was 4%|, so after 11 months, a budget deficit of 4%. Now, if in the last month we had stayed in government, I don’t think it would’ve gone higher than 5%. I hope it didn’t go towards 7, because that would mean having a deficit of three percent in the last month, a rise like that in only one month. You should know they’re all connected. If you start spending without investing, you are surely going towards failure,” said the former Prime Minister.
Citu added that he doesn’t want to see in the budget money taken from investments and that would go to social expenses, because, he believes, that would be “the recipe for disaster.”
“On one hand, the budget expenses must be maintained in the income side as well, of course, you have to keep what was in force last year. Because last year we had budget incomes higher by almost 24 billion than initially estimated. There is income to the budget when there is also economic growth, it’s true. In order to have economic growth, you must invest. The moment you stray from the formula ‘when you invest you have economic growth’, you’re going in a different direction and then, I guarantee you that you can only be heading for disaster,” said the PNL chair.
Florin Citu added that he would have continued and that public administration reform must be continued. In what regards pensions, said Florin Citu, “all pensions go towards the contributive system and then wage reform.”
Liberal leader Florin Citu says market liberalization not to blame for energy crisis
Chairman of the National Liberal Party (PNL) Florin Citu declared on Friday in Alba Iulia that claims about the failure of the energy market’s liberalization are “stupid” and stressed that the current energy crisis has a global span.
In his opinion, people who “have nothing to do” with a specific sector and “are clueless” about it should not be appointed to regulatory institutions.
Asked at a press conference how he comments on the statement of the Finance Minister, Social Democrat Adrian Caciu, that we are witnessing “a failure of the energy market’s liberalization”, the Liberal leader replied that this repeatedly circulated claim is “nonsense or stupid”.
“Liberalization is never a failure. And liberalization was done two years ago and it was OK. What we see today is a global energy crisis. It has nothing to do with Romania. Prices have risen everywhere in the world and liberalization was done a long time ago in the EU. It’s weird to say that liberalization is a failure, but if this comes from the Socialists it’s not a problem, because the liberalization was done according to the timetable devised during Adrian Nastase’s time and is laid out in the EU Accession Treaty,” Florin Citu said.
He added that he will support the free market anytime, anywhere, as well as price determination by the free market.
“But as long as we appoint to regulatory institutions people who have nothing to do with the respective sector, people who are clueless, that’s the results we’ll see. It is our duty in the Romanian Parliament to assess the activity report of the National Energy Regulatory Agency, of the Financial Supervisory Agency, of all these watchdog agencies, and again it is our duty as politicians to put knowledgeable people in office. Otherwise, these are the results we’ll see. So, it’s not market liberalization that is to blame. I told you who’s at fault in my opinion,” Citu explained.
Compiled from Agerpres